JCB globe trotter Colin Bond today waved goodbye to colleagues at the digger giant after a career spanning 41 years. The Worldwide Events Project Manager has says he’s had a "roller coaster life" with JCB….and admitted he had a tear in his eye as he cleared his desk in readiness for retirement.
Colin, 63, started work for JCB in 1969, the year JCB won its first Queen’s Award and JCB’s late Founder Joseph Cyril Bamford, known universally as Mr JCB, was awarded a CBE. He landed his first job in the machine shop at Rocester thanks to his wife Delia who was also working for JCB at the time. She should have been on holiday ahead of their wedding but had reported for duty and Mr JCB asked her why she was there.
During the course of the conversation, he asked why her husband-to-be was not working for the company like her …..and it wasn’t long before Colin was on board.
A few years in and Colin had his first promotion, moving to test and development, where he first drove JCBs. He later spent around 20 years as a globetrotting demonstrator, showing off the features and benefits of JCB’s machines to customers and dealers around the world.
Colin said: "I’ve visited every continent and at the last count I had visited 76 countries for JCB."
When JCB donated machines to help out in the aftermath of the Armenian earthquake in 1988, Colin also spent two weeks there helping in the relief effort and training local operators. Colin’s last job has seen him organise shows and exhibitions all over the world.
JCB Chairman Sir Anthony Bamford said: "On behalf of my family and the Directors of JCB, I’d like to thank Colin for all he has done. Colin has helped the company enormously over the years and you always knew that wherever it was in the world, that if Colin was doing the job, it was going to be a job done well, done properly and on time."
One of the highlights of Colin’s career was the part he played in the JCB Dieselmax team in 2006. Driving a JCB Fastrac tractor, it was Colin who gave the car its push start as it set off across the 11 mile course over the Bonneville Salt Flats in the USA en route to breaking the world diesel land speed record.
Colin said: "JCB’s business has taken me away from home a lot over the years but it’s been great being part of a firm which has developed into a global company. It’s been unbelievable. It’s been a good life and I’m really going to miss the people here."
Colin plans to spend more time with his family, his daughter Tina, who works for JCB Insurance and, of course, his wife Delia.